I'm so sorry you are dealing with this. So not unusual, I'm afraid, in the employer/employee setting. I see one potential area you can personally consider looking into legally speaking (relating to your return from Maternity leave), but read on, as you willl see that the other complaints will likely not be addressable, given the at will nature of NJ. THere is also a link to a source of additional information when it comes to discrimnation in NJ
With regard to your post:
I worked for a retirement community in the state of NJ. I served as Asst. Operations Manager. I was a good worker with all good performance reviews. About 8 months ago, I was pregnant with my son and my daughter fell ill. She needed surgury. My General Manager made arrangements for me to work full time in the evenings instead of during the day. You also had the right to FMLA, most likely, if you'd worked enough hours in the prior twelve month and if your employer was not excepted from FMLA requirements.
He later told me that the Community Board was having an issue with my evening hours and that there may be a problem. However, he would never say what that problem would be. He sounds like a whimp. My boss never advised the Board members that he authorized the work arrangements with me; How do you know this? not to mention my job description never stated that I had a certain required work shift. Job requirements can be changed at the will of the employer, unfortunately, if you have no contract to the contrary. Often, my General Manager told me that he wanted me to work various hours, so as to keep an eye on what is going on during the various shifts of the day. The Board members, as I was advised by my boss were looking for a reason to fire me. If this is true, I wonder if it might be because of your pending "maternity leave." The boss also informed me that the Board Member in charge of Personnel was trying to look for a reason to force him to take the custodians away from my supervision for no apparent reason. Possibly preliminary to knixxing you from the ranks - first they must get someone else to absorb your duties.
He stated that recently friends of this Board Member were sending in service request forms of custodial issues that were not legitimate. But, he did nothing about it. He may not have a duty or power to do a thing - he to works at the 'will' of the employer, and the Board is basically his boss as well.
I requested that this issue be put in writing. My Boss refused. Remember in the future that you can always confirm conversations like this in writing, mailed cert. r.r.r. to the person (or others), that you want to confirm with in writing - it need not be him putting it in writing. <br /> <br />
Just before I went out on maternity leave, there was a change in management. I remained Assistant Operations Manager and was assured by my Boss that although I now report to the Acting Manager instead of the Operating Manager, my supervisory duties would remain the same. How can one be Asst. to the Operations Manager if they don't report to the Operations Manager? Your duties and reporting position can be whatever the employer dictates.
<br /> <br />When I came back from maternity leave, I returned to was a position that was in no way similar to the position I had prior to maternity leave. By law, the company may not be able to provide me apposition of the exact same caliber. However, they are required to provide me a position that is similar. I agree, have you you filed a complaint yet?
Prior to leaving, I was working with the Acting Manager at a supervisory level on managing the custodians and conducting other supervisory duties. However, when I got back the Acting Manager was now managing the custodians and my other supervisory duties permanently. I was never advised that I was now at a base employee level and no longer at a supervisory level. I was told by the Acting Manager and General Manager, prior to maternity leave, that the Acting Manager will only be overseeing the Custodians and conducting other supervisory duties of mine until I get back from maternity leave. <br /> <br />I'd be a little ticked at this, ergo, FMLA suit AND possible .
This past Friday, my husband and I were unexpectedly fired. So you both work for the same employer?
My boss told us that we did nothing wrong. My Boss pulled me into the office and put my husband on speaker phone to let him know that he was fired too. My boss stated that the reason we were fired was because the Board felt that we gave a date of our end of employment. They were never given this in a written or verbal format. My mother in law is selling her house. We gave our boss the courtesy (which he asked for) of the date scheduled for the closing and advised him that if the house sells we will be leaving work. So, you were not quitting, just advising that one day in the future you may be leaving if XYZ takes place.
Our boss made an agreed arrangement with us that if the house did not sell we would still be employed at work. Apparently he had no unilateral power over your position. Our boss, in front of the Operations Manager and several other employees, stated to my husband, "Good News, if the house doesn't sell you will always have a job in the Maintenance Dept." <br /> <br />
Upon being terminated, my husband questioned our boss as to whether he informed the Board members about the arrangement he made with us. Our boss stated that he takes some blame for firing us because he never told them that we are going to remain working at the location. Clearly, would you say, the Board wanted you both gone, even if he didn't?
He advised us that two Board Member came in early Friday morning and told him to fire us, but my boss did not take that time either to inform them of the his authorization for our continuance - It appears that he is not their boss, hierachy dictates and he is only your boss, while the Board is his boss, yes? of work regardless of the outcome of the sale of a house that is not even ours.
I am beginning to think my boss didn't tell the Board Members about the arrangement he made with me regarding the shift change during my child's surgery and the arrangement he made regarding our continuance of work because he may not have been authorized to do this and saved his own ass. Yes, in corporate structures, in any employment setting really, a higher boss can dictate over a lower boss. He may not make the decision to fire you, his superiors can, and they can make him do the dirty work of telling you. He is clearly a whimp, but that in and of itself is not actionable.
Although I can't verify this with the employee manual because they changed the one we had and never provided us with a new one for reference. Rely on the old one then - if they never presented the new one, arguably the old one may have terms in it that you could argue are implied terms of the employment agreement, upon which you relied.
They are probably changing the manual again right now to cover themselves. Doesn't effect past obligations :) <br /> <br />The same day we were fired, an employee with a documented and verbal poor performance review was let go. However, the boss advised me (after firing me) that he offered her a few hours in security because he felt bad for her. What about the employee with a constant good performance review and two kids now without benefits? No right to your job, obviously, on that basis.
Since when is it ok to offer a documented poor performance employee work before a good performing employee? It is absolutely permitted - there could be other traits they preferred, such as, maybe she doesn't complain, make waves, make strife, argue, etc. This is how whimps say employed, while those of us with some sense of self pride and equity speak up - to our detriment I'm afraid.
<br /> <br />After firing me the boss informed me of the Board member that was forcing the issue of firing is. Board member's right.
Ironically, it was the same person my boss advised me was forcing the issue when my daughter was sick. I guess when they can't get you on one thing, they wait until they get you on something they can get away with. Sure, human nature. If you were an employer and didn't think an employee was working out to your liking, you too would make it happen.
<br /> <br />After firing me, the boss also informed me that he was notified by the same Board Member that wanted that another member of the Board has someone who works for South Brunswick Township that is bringing in an application for someone she knows that is in need of a job. <br /> <br />There is an employee that is working there with a DUI and suspended license that has been caught drunk on the job by my boss. I know because he has sent me in to verify and advised me to help get him sober and be quiet about it because the guy is the son of his friend. This gentleman gets 10 hours of overtime a week when we are told there is no overtime and keeps it quiet. This is call ed Nepotism and is also not yet prohibited in NJ.
When the gentleman lost his license, the General Manager switched his job to custodial, so as to preserve his position because a custodian is not required to have a license, as his old position in maintenance requires a license. <br /> <br />The Community Boards have employees doing minutes (which by community assoc. standards, we are not supposed to be doing the minutes). Then we have one Board that takes the minutes and unlawfully changes them to what they want them to say. They are violating their contract to their members (residents/homeowners).They have done it to me. I was told by a Board member to take out something he said in the minutes because of the ramifications of what he said with all of the politics going on in he community. <br /> <br />The day before I was fired, my boss informed me and another employee of an election for Board Members that was unlawfully rigged by himself and another party, so as to keep one person from winning the race. Again, a violation of the contarct, most likely that the Association has with its members. You could consider informing the other party to the contract of the corruption - you have no standing, obviously, you are not a party to that contract I am sure, but you could make waves.
<br /> <br />I know there is something funny going on with the funds of the Association because when I worked in the Maintenance Department, I put chargeables and other expense items in the right accounts as instructed. I was later asked by the controller to switch them around. Although, she said what I originally did was right. When I asked why so that I could understand for the future and make sure I know where I am putting expenses, I was told just do it, I don't need to know why. Again, you could blow them out of the water :) Won't reall help you, but they could be criminalized (more than just breaching their contract) for embezzlement, theft, breach of fiduciary duty, etc.
<br /> <br />I was never given the new employee manual that the Board rewrote. So, I don't know what the policy is now for terminating or what I can to dispute this. I strongly suspect that your old one never protected you, and your new one is not much different. If an employee is disciplined, my boss has told me in the past that they can dispute it with the Community Board. Anyone CAN, just doesn't mean they have ot listen.
It may be the same for termination. But if an employee was not given a copy of the employee manual, it makes it difficult know for sure. Which is why you rely on the old one, since they never changed the terms vis a vis YOU.
<br /> <br />Most recently, my boss refuses to do employee reviews, so while I am constantly advised of my great performance, the employees are not afforded the opportunity of an employee review. No statutory right in NJ to a review.
I was advised that since the company put a freeze on wages, including increases for cost of living, he sees no point in doing them. He is an idiot. <br /> <br />Having said that, I realize that I might be an "at will" employee because of the State I live in. Yes, although this is generally true elsewhere as well, in this country.
But where does the law protect the employee? I would look into where they did violated your legal rights, possibly - the Maternity leave and not bringing you back ot your position. You've nothing to lose by filing a ocmplaint with the DOL. And since they discriminated against you there, then fired you, AND fired your husband - this could be significant. I'd confer with an employment lawyer.
One who can potentially provide specific information on your situation as a source of infomration in NJ may be found here.
Also, you will both certainly be applying for your Unemployment Insurance benfits, right?
Hope this helps to clarify. If it does, please click ACCEPT and follow up if needed after you do so. If you need more detail, please click Reply, not ReList and I will gladly respond. Also, if you exceeded the one question one answer standard, and the expert provided you with answers to your additional questions, BONUS is an appreciated way of saying thank you! This expert's credit proceeds go towards providing volunteer provisions for the disabled. Thank you for helping!
I believe I have answered your question and I hope you a better understanding of your legal issue as a result. As you know, I am only the messenger, not your attorney, nor can I create favorable law if it doesn't exist, so please don't hold it against me if the legal result is not what you wish. ACCEPTING the Answer a so ensures I will be able to assist your with your future legal question. In addition, Positive "FEEDBACK" and BONUSES are also appreciated. If you would like my assistance in the future, just put my name, STEPHANIE JOY, in your title or first sentence of a new post. Please keep in mind that I can only respond to your post and the information contained in it, as I do not know what you know unless you describe it fully. Also, due to site tech reasons, oftentimes I am initially only able to see the first part of your post, so I apologize in advance if it means more interactions between us. At times, there can also be a delay of an hour or more in between my answers because I may be helping other customers or taking a break, or if it is late at night, I may have to go get some shut eye til morning, but rest assured, I'll be back for you. Thanks
S. Joy, Legal Expert